Tag Archives: Grief

It Started with a Broken Heart

11 Jul
Blog post by Mandy M., Team India 2012
My journey to this missions trip, honestly, started from a broken heart.  In the fall of 2010, I was happily engaged and busy planning a wedding to a man I was truly in love with.  I felt confident of the path I was on and content with where my life was heading.  One month before the wedding, however, my fiancé abruptly called it off and my world went into a painful tailspin.  I spent the next year grieving the loss of that relationship. . . and the dreams I thought would come true.  I relied heavily on my faith, family and friends to get through those first few months.
It was during that time that I was lead to Isaiah 43:18-19: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” It became my prayer for the next year.  I prayed for the favor of God, to be boldly used and that He would spring something new up in my life.  I knew that since my life took such a dramatic turn, He must have very different plans for me and there was a great sense of adventure in that. I also had a burden to seriously started praying for a missions opportunity.  I have felt, for many years, the tug to pursue oversees missions but it wasn’t until the unfolding events of the last two years that I began to earnestly seek a way to serve Him in this capacity.  My desire to be near Him, to serve Him even more, was growing deeper and deeper.  My broken heart was healing and I was seeing the new adventures He was bringing my way.
I have always had a heart for children.  When this opportunity to serve with Journey117 opened up early this year I knew it was a great fit and felt so blessed to be able to serve!  I cannot wait to see how He uses all of us next month and know that this is only the beginning of something even greater in store.  We serve such an awesome God.  He takes you places you sometimes least expect and the road is often extremely bumpy.  But how He loves us!  I simply want to world to know this!  I am truly thankful for this opportunity.
Mandy resides in South Dakota and will be serving with Journey117 this month on Team India. 

AIDS Orphans: Overwhelming Statistics

23 Feb

Blog post by Wendy K, Team Haiti 2012

Looking through the lens of my mind’s eye, I see two children.
Two children separated by continents.

One sitting pretty clothed in family,
A backdrop of abundance….
A broad smile…
Eyes of hope…
A triumphant shout…
A life of promise.

The other –
Utterly alone.
A backdrop of empty…
A vacant look…
Eyes of misery…
A silent scream…
A life lost.

Two children made in God’s image, precious in His eyes, worthy of respect, dignity and a opportunity.  Two lives- one full of hope, the other hanging in the balance.  I ask myself what I would do if this was the plight of one of my children.  One life lost is tragic enough, but over 16 million children have been orphaned by AIDS.  14.8 million of these children live in Sub-Saharan Africa. Continue reading

Helping the Children of Haiti

22 Aug

In May of this year, one of Modern Postcard’s Graphic Artists, Callie Himsl, journeyed to Haiti with World Orphans to help children affected by the devastating earthquake. Amazingly, this trip was the second time Callie used her own personal time for volunteer work and to do her part to create change in the world. Check out her moving story.

http://www.modernpostcard.com/blog/august/helping-children-haiti

Coping with Tragedy in Haiti: Losing a Child

29 May

Lauren, a recent nursing graduate from Texas, shares about a traumatic loss during a  Journey 117 trip to Haiti in May 2011. To read more of Lauren’s blog, check out http://chosenbyyou.blogspot.com/

Are they just a number?

It has been almost a week since I have been back from Haiti and it has been an emotional roller coaster. Each day I wake up and with each memory I hold onto, I still try to process it all. Here, I want to begin by re-telling some of the life-changing stories that happened while in Haiti.

At the beginning of the week, my team and I experienced a traumatic passing of an infant that cut down deep within me but changed my life forever. Bear with me as I try to vividly re-tell the story. On Monday, we had the opportunity to visit a home for dying and abandoned babies. When I first heard of this home, I was so excited and I couldn’t wait to go and hold, feed, and bathe babies, but I did not fully understand the heart-wrenching sights that I was about to see. When we arrived and I stepped foot into this home, my heart immediately dropped and I fought tears like never before. Wiping my face with the sleeve of my arm, I made my way down the stairs and before me were rows and rows of cribs filled with sick and dying infants. I cannot express to you in words how many there were; row after row and room after room. As I looked, these infants didn’t even seem to have an identity; their bed was labeled with a number. As I tried to process this scene, my mind began to think, “Are theses infants just a number here?? Is this real??” Inside, my heart was screaming as I looked at each infant. Even though they couldn’t’ understand, I told them, you matter. You are not just a number to Christ. He cares for you. He knew you even before you were formed in your mother’s womb. He loves you so much. This pain will end soon. Hold on little one. I was angry and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I walked through the row of cribs and touched each tiny little hand that reached out for me, starving for love, and begging me to pick them up. I immediately scooped up a sweet baby girl and as soon as she was in my arms, she stopped crying and her head laid on my chest. Again, I fought tears. I looked at her face to find that she had a severe eye infection. It was oozing and she looked as if she was in a lot of pain. She felt warm to touch and I’m sure was suffering from an infection that her little body couldn’t fight. In my mind, I began to think back to my hospital at home and the place where I would work. If I were to hold an infant like this in the states I would be gowned, gloved, and with a facemask on for protection from any type of disease, but with this little girl in my arms, I didn’t care. I stroked her head as she laid on my chest. I went to the side room and prayed over her as two of my other teammates gathered around with their sweet infants. Tears fell. My heart was broken and I couldn’t understand. Time passed and I held this little girl, trying to get every spoonful of food I could down here; her belly was huge (protein deficiency) but her arms and legs were so skinny; she was greatly malnourished. It was time for their nap around noon and as I placed her back in her crib, she cried and cried. I picked her back up and she stopped, as peaceful as she could be as long as she was in the warmth of my arms. I had to put her down, telling myself that I could get her again after her nap. We left the room and let the children sleep while we visited another orphanage for a few hours.

Continue reading

Team Haiti Update: Coping with Loss

17 May

I wanted to take a moment to write a quick update to all of you. The past couple of days have been rather emotional offering some extreme highs to extreme lows. Yesterday we were at home for sick and dying children. The scene was terrible: cribs of babies everywhere, most of them crying to get your attention because they just wanted to be held. Several of the babies had visible illnesses or deformities that were just heart-wrenching. We grabbed as many babies as we could handle out of the cribs and just spent hours loving on these kids and helping to feed during meal times. Some of the babies were 18 months or 2 years old but you would never guess it; they appeared to be just weeks old because the diseases had taken its toll on their bodies.

At the end of the day there a baby got really sick and one of the girls who happens to be a recent nursing graduate noticed that the baby was not breathing well and that the mother was next to her crying. Confused as to what was going on, she tried to figure out the situation to see if the workers responded to this scene. After a while she stepped in and took a look at the baby. She was clearly sick and not getting enough oxygen. Another girl and I were called in to help. Stepping into this surreal situation, we tried to do what we could. We had little to no medicine to work with and inefficient supplies. The baby stopped responding to any stimuli, so we started doing CPR after we lost a pulse and the baby stopped breathing. Continue reading

Daddy, Am I captivating?

30 Apr

Blog post by Lori K., Team Moldova 2011

When little girls are small they dress up in there prettiest dresses, twirl around in front of their fathers, wanting to know, “Daddy, am I lovely? Am I captivating?” Studies have been done showing that women who had a caring relationship with their fathers during childhood suffer less depression, have fewer eating disorders, and have a better self-image. These crucial questions little girls ask are primarily answered by their fathers. The reason why I feel it is important to share this with you is because not having my questions answered has brought me to where I am now.
Continue reading

Delta College student raises funds for Uganda Journey

27 Apr

Delta College student Jessica Duncan, of Cedarville, is raising money to go on a mission trip to Uganda this summer with a group of people from across the country. Photo by Alicia Dale, The Bay City Times

Article from mLive.com

FRANKENLUST TWP. — Faith hasn’t always been easy for Jessica Duncan.

The religious beliefs of the 19-year-old Delta College student have been challenged by unfortunate circumstances in recent years.

“I’ve experienced a lot of deaths in my family,” said Duncan, a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America who attends St. Paul Lutheran Church in Frankenlust Township during the school year.

“I’ve lost a lot of people, and it made me question my faith. I really questioned God.”

Duncan, a sophomore studying to become a nurse, has lost two grandfathers and an aunt in the past four years.

But out of tragedy was born an opportunity to revitalize her faith….

Continue Reading Article at mLive.com